Weekend Miscellany

After managing to complete my 20 Books of Summer, my September reading thus far has been all review copies bar one, catching up on reading ahead for several forthcoming blog tours in particular – now I’ve just got to write all the posts!

It’s been a busy week, being back at school. While the weather’s still good and every window and door is open for ventilation, it’s great not to have to wear masks, but I am still keeping my distance from the children indoors. What is nice though is being able to eat lunch back in the dining hall with proper crockery and cutlery and to sit at the staff table! Week two will see really getting back into the swing of the timetable.


I’ve started to track down all my Nordic novels in preparation for ‘Nordic FINDS‘, my Nordic-themed reading month and a bit in January. I have a amassed a shelfful already!

I’ve created a page for the event HERE.

I’ve chosen my ‘gateway’ readalong novels for Sweden and Iceland now. I’m picking one influential bestseller for each country, but I realise I’ve read very little Finnish literature – even Tove Jansson wrote in Swedish, so if you have any suggestions I’d be grateful.


There was a great article in The Guardian on Friday bemoaning the lack of recognition for translators, who do such a wonderful job. Indeed, I couldn’t run a Nordic reading month without them!

I’d just like to say that for many years now, I’ve included the translator’s name up front on my blog posts (and at Shiny too). If I discover any missing translators on older posts, that’ll be rectified when found.

Reading foreign novels in translation is an increasing pleasure, as I discover more and more world literature – although I should extend myself to go further outside Europe and Japan more often.


RIP XVI – The Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye

It can’t have escaped your notice that the RIP challenge has returned for its 16th year for this month and next. So, for starters, I offer up to you a short review of the first volume of 32 of the zombie graphic novel series The Walking Dead. Those of you who read my Watchlist posts will know of my obsession with the TV series, so I was very keen to finally get reading the comic books that inspired the series.

Author Robert Kirkwood is also executive producer on the TV series, so I was relieved to find that the series follows the book closely, although the addition of characters Darryl and Merle to the TV series was a superb move. The first book comprises the essential story of the first three episode, minus Darryl and Merle.

Set in Georgia, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes is shot in the line of duty. He awakes from a coma to discover that the hospital is abandoned and that he’s in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Not understanding what’s happened, it’s lucky that he’s found by Morgan before the zombies can get him, and Morgan puts him straight about the situation. Rick detemines to go back into Atlanta to stock up on weapons from the police dept armoury. He’s unprepared for the number of zombies, but this time is rescued by pizza delivery boy Glenn, who takes him back to a survivors camp – where he is amazed to find his wife Lori and young son Carl – but also his colleague Shane, who unbeknownst to Rick has started a relationship with Lori. The first volume climaxes with a confrontation between Rick and Shane.

The artwork by Tony Moore is great (see below, if you dare!). Rick is very different on the page to Andrew Lincoln on the TV – here, he’s very much an all-American action hero type, tall with a strong chin and shaggy sandy hair, although he is in touch with his emotions. The zombies have been faithfully replicated from the book for the TV too. One of the joys of graphic novels is always the portrayal of sound effects, and we get the full range of them, as the survivors have to start dispatching the walkers. The monochrome artwork is super.

I’ve acquired the next three volumes now!

Source: Own copy. TWD Vol 1 – softback, 144 pages. BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link.

7 thoughts on “Weekend Miscellany

  1. Janakay | YouMightAsWellRead says:

    Since I’m not very good at completion myself, I’m very impressed with your accomplishment vis á vis the twenty books of summer. As for world literature, I, too have very recently come to read and enjoy much more of it. It’s been amazing to me how much my reading pleasure has been increased by even the small amount I’ve read, although I must admit it’s been hell on the TBR list (and pile!). I think it’s a wonderful idea to credit the translators, who too often are overlooked and whose work is so very necessary for most of the rest of us. Thanks for the link to the Guardian article, which I’d missed.

  2. Liz Dexter says:

    I’ve just bought a book of Reykjavik stories, however will have to check how many women writers are in it in case I can use it for WIT for once. Maybe I can read the stories by men for your Nordic month!

  3. Calmgrove says:

    *sigh* I’m sooo tempted by your Nordic FINDS event. I missed out on reading a Tove Jansson for Paula’s Tove Trove in August as I hadn’t got round to acquiring a title by her.

    However, I have at least a couple of Icelandic authors to read — Jónasson and Sigurdardottir you’ve read — and hopefully will acquire some more by January; I know I have Gaarder’s Maia on my shelves. I’m reading an Astrid Lindgren children’s book at the moment.

    • Calmgrove says:

      It is, thanks! Two Jansson books (The Summer Book and a Moomin title) are included here, even though strictly speaking they’re in Swedish; otherwise the only work I recognise is the Kalevala, the rest is new to me.

  4. Cathy746books says:

    I always include the translator’s name at the top of any review and am really trying to make sure I discuss the skill of the translation in my review. They do such an amazing job. I have two books lined up for Nordic FINDS – Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson and The Faster I Walk the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold

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